“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Monday, September 10, 2007

"This is like deja vu all over again." - yogi bera

Army Times

Forty years ago, another of the Army’s best and brightest — like Petraeus a former commander of the “Screaming Eagles” — returned from a war with a top U.S. diplomat to do a public relations blitz.

Gen. William Westmoreland appeared with Ellsworth Bunker, the American ambassador to South Vietnam, before key congressional committees and on “Meet the Press.” The general delivered an address to the National Press Club in which he spoke of the war in terms that ring familiar today.

“We have found it to be like no other war we have fought before,” Westmoreland said of the U.S. forces’ struggle in Vietnam. “There are no moving front lines, just a changing picture of small actions scattered over the whole country.”

Even so, Westmoreland was optimistic, noting that the people of the country “have, in the past year, held free elections.” He said his troops had “learned to work alongside the Vietnamese army while encouraging the development of a representative government.”

After his speech, Westmoreland was asked a question that has come up in the congressional debate over Iraq: “Shouldn’t the running of the war be left exclusively to the military?”

“I think it was Clemenceau who said that war is too important to be left exclusively to the generals,” Westmoreland said, referring to Georges Clemenceau, the French prime minister during World War I. “I think, at this time in history, in view of the complexity of this confrontation, that Clemenceau was right.”


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  2. Circle and cycles
    Scenes that we've all seen before.

    Saudi Arabian fighters infiltrating Iraq, they have to take the bus! Success!

    The air route is shut down, now they're in cars, trucks and on the bus.

  3. Oh, so THIS is where I'm supposed to jump in and start cussing, right? Sorry, Cain't do it; too worn out. I never, ever believed Westmoreland. I think Petraeus has a slightly better feel for what's going on on the ground. For what it's worth. Which isn't much; it's all about keeping the oil flowing, anyway.

  4. Come April, a Brigade pulls out, not replaced. The baseline force wiil remain at 132,000 after the surge withdrawal is complete, in 8 or 9 months, November '08., maybe December.

    The baseline force and the next decision, on the shoulders of the new President to chart.

    Seems to be the Plan.

  5. Mighty Bouncey Baseline for the Pub Candidates to Launch from!
    Most of the thrust exhausted before they exit the hole.

  6. Housing Market Slump Forces Couple To Open Brothel...

    No Shit!
    I'm considering selling out and doubling up w/Sonia.
    Hard Times Ahead.
    VERY HARD Times!

  7. Who cares how much military tactical progress there is, when there is no political strategic progress?

  8. YOU don't even seem to care about the Housing Crisis, and my Personal Plight!

    Cold-Hearted indeed, Ms T!

    You couldn't just happen to be jealous of me wrt Sonia, now, could you?

  9. DOUG: You couldn't just happen to be jealous of me wrt Sonia, now, could you?

    What's this renewed obsession with the Skyclad One? Did she streak on through here when I was gone?

  10. "Who cares how much military tactical progress there is, when there is no political strategic progress?"

    As pessimistic as I am about the latter, they both are interconnected and impact each other.

  11. CUTLER: As pessimistic as I am about the latter, they both are interconnected and impact each other.

    Petraeus is milking the Anbar breakthrough for all it's worth, but it was based on a totally different initiative that preceded the "Surge", and is basically the result of al-Qaeda being more annoying occupiers than we are. It has nothing to do with strengthening a united central government. What about Baghdad, General? He says he needs until next summer. By then, the ethnic cleansing should be complete. Three Iraqs. No oil sharing arrangement.

  12. One thing I'm suspicious about is the numbers. We just passed throught the two hottest months of the year in Iraq and don't things normally quiet down during that period? I'm sure the number crunchers have plotted the appropriate numbers with the seasonal factor in mind...right?

  13. Assuming the numbers support the Admin as stated doesn't it then follow that even more troops are required? That 500k number DR likes to throw about sounds immensly reasonable given the paradigm the admin is pushing. So, how about it? Let's double down....errrr, quadruple down...whatever. More is better "WE ARE WINNING!!!"

    ...my how that chinese finger trap grows ever tighter...

  14. yea, yea, I'm pretending to be doug

    Now that we are winning, shouldn't we keep the ball rolling? Rollin' rollin' rollin'... right on thru Syria and Iran!!! We are on roll are we not? Gotta luv the smell of victory!!

  15. Mon Sep 10, 08:52:00 PM EDT

    Us working with the local Sunni leadership, once fanatically opposed to us, could potentially create its own opportunities.

  16. "but it was based on a totally different initiative that preceded the "Surge", and is basically the result of al-Qaeda being more annoying occupiers than we are."

    And the "surge" very little to do with what is currently being played out in Washington, because the Democratic leadership are playing for the full ball of wax. And that, right or wrong, would preclude what is happening in Anbar.

  17. Cutler, you are aware of the Arab propensity to milk it all for what your worth, are you not? We are being played left right and center in Iraq. What is in it for US? OIL? That's not working out so good...

  18. Sounds damn right gleeful, she does.

  19. And I aint talking bout Tes, aka, catholic woman.

  20. Mr. Abssi, who established his group in Lebanon last fall with as many as 50 militants from other Arab countries who had fought American troops in Iraq, said he would not attack any targets in Lebanon.

    But in February, Lebanese authorities linked him to a bus bombing that killed three commuters, and authorities soon lay siege to the camp where his group had set up.

    Reached in Tripoli, Omar Bakri, a radical sheik who moved from London to Lebanon two years ago under pressure from British authorities, said Mr. Abssi’s escape was baffling.

    Jihad Leader

  21. "Cutler, you are aware of the Arab propensity to milk it all for what your worth, are you not? We are being played left right and center in Iraq. What is in it for US? OIL? That's not working out so good..."

    There's first order effects and then there's second order effects. Neither would be beneficial to US security in the event of us leaving in a manner that suggests we were run out with our tail between our legs. Best avoided if at all possible.

  22. Sure, we don't want to be run out of town with our tail between our legs and many will try to portray any withdrawal as such. There is no reason to beat our head against the wall either. This is one of the main problems I've had with the Bush admin's approach to foreign policy - success or failure is not determined by US but rather by events beyond our control. We can 'seize the day' as it were by announcing our intention to vacate, then ramping up to do so with variations on that theme dispensed with results perceived to be in our favor. Now, we sit back, fight, die, and wait for the Iraqi to do what is right. Could be a long long wait.

  23. Not exactly renewed, Ms T:
    The long smoldering lust breaks out into open flames from time to time, as surely as the phases of the Moon chart it's waxing and waning.

  24. "yea, yea, I'm pretending to be doug"
    You know damn well I won't start to assert that victory is at hand, Ash, until every illegal is either sterilized, incarcerated, deported, or put to death, depending on the individual circumstances of their illegal case!

    Let me know at the earliest signs of progress, please!

    Together we can better surveil the enemy, and our progress against it.

  25. it's just you wife's cycle's driving your lust there dougo ;)

  26. actually, I was referring to the repeated posts...

  27. let's be honest...

    iraq is a training camp for the next generation of american urban fighters...

    we have battles to fight in the future and what better place to get live fire exercises?

    NOT that i think the fight is a joke, I DONT!

    but i do think the BIGGER fight is about to break open and I would rather have our troops TRAINED and sharp then fresh and naive....

  28. Ash considers publishing his works on the cycles of Senior Women!

  29. But terrorism experts say al-Qaida's core leadership is regrouping in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. The latest National Intelligence Estimate says the network is growing in strength, intensifying its effort to put operatives in the U.S. and plot new attacks.

    Bin Laden's video Saturday was his first message in over a year — since a July 1, 2006, audiotape. The images came under close scrutiny from U.S. intelligence agencies, looking for clues to the 50-year-old's health and whereabouts.

    In the video, bin Laden tells the American people his fighters are duty bound to "escalate the fighting and killing against you" in Iraq. But he adds that there is a solution to the bloodshed: "I invite you to embrace Islam."

    Video Coming

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  31. You got your motorized tri Cycles, your Exer Cycles, your Dryer Cycles...

  32. WIO,

    Why are US troops not stood down where Iraqis are standing up? The US trained hundreds of thousand of Iraqi troops, why has US troops number remained static all this time?

  33. Nonsense, Sam:
    Trish assures us the threats consist of minor events here and there, with no conceivable scenario wrt Al Q's now broken capacity to mount a major attack.

    Most of this stuff is best left to the State Dept, or closely vetted (by their spouse, and that's close!) renowned experts in their fields, with reputations for being unimpeachably honest!
    ...like Joe Wilson!

  34. WIO,

    Why are US troops not stood down where Iraqis are standing up? The US trained hundreds of thousand of Iraqi troops, why has US troops number remained static all this time?

    not sure i understand the question, as it pertains to my point...

  35. The point is this "training" and "experience" should not be costing half a trillion dollars to obtain.

  36. I can't remember why I linked this, and, Why do I have a Boner?

  37. :) Rufus, ask your wife maybe she'll know what to do. Howbout--Fixadixcin?

    Sorry, best I could do.

  38. :) Not Bad, not bad at all.

  39. How in the hell did we ever win the cold war. Man, were those Russkies fukt or what?

  40. I read a book, Rufus, by a mid- level state department guy, he couldn't understand it either, and he said nobody else there could either. Total surprise. He came to a speculation that maybe prayer had something to do with it, as unlikely as that sounds. Paul Johnson, the British historian and religious historian(Catholic) came to the same conclusion as well. Seems elements of the catholic church prayed for the liberation of the east for years. Who knows? What is truth?

  41. With the risk to be malicious, I thin you should mention Paris Hilton too.

    Comment from one of the, uh, commenters.

  42. I thin so too. She's my gal.

  43. Investing in China’s Surveillance Boom

    The ties between Wall Street and China’s surveillance industry are starting to draw Washington’s attention.

  44. I know I should take the Chinese more seriously than I do. But, I just can't seem to.

  45. Try picturing them with a WMD size version of Ash's well-worn Chinese Finger Trap.
    That outta do it.

  46. Thanks to Zawahiri, instead of al-Qaeda R.I.P., we're facing an al-Qaeda that has risen from the grave.
    Scarier Than Bin Laden

    While bin Laden putters about in his premature forced retirement, making the odd cameo appearance, Zawahiri has taken control of al-Qaeda. He has not only revived the movement's fortunes but has also made it once again the global threat poised to strike the United States that was depicted in the National Intelligence Estimate released in July.

    And, almost unnoticed, the low-key, monotonic Zawahiri has become the organization's new public face. Over the past two years, the Egyptian terrorist has issued about 30 statements on a range of subjects -- pontifications on Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Pakistan, alongside al-Qaeda's bread-and-butter condemnations of the United States, Britain, Israel, the West and its various other enemies.

    Zawahiri has also overseen a quadrupling of al-Qaeda video releases in the same period.

    He may lack bin Laden's charisma, but Zawahiri is the superior strategist. It was he who, more than a decade ago, defined al-Qaeda's strategy in terms of "far" and "near" enemies. The United States is the "far enemy" whose defeat, he argued, was an essential prerequisite to the elimination of the "near enemy" -- the corrupt and authoritarian anti-Islamic regimes in the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia that could not remain in power without U.S. support. Zawahiri's strategic vision set off the chain of events that led to 9/11.

    Even more critically, Zawahiri charted a way forward for al-Qaeda in late 2001, when it was widely believed to be on the brink of annihilation. Despite the deaths of his wife and only son in a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that November, he did not repine. Even while on the run from CIA and U.S. Special Operations forces and the Afghan Northern Alliance, he came up with an uncompromisingly bellicose yet crystal-clear blueprint for al-Qaeda's revival.

    His treatise, published in the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Alsharq al-Awsat in December 2001 and titled "Knights Under the Prophet's Banner," painted a picture of Islam under siege by a predatory, Western-dominated world in which "there is no solution without jihad." He argued for:...

  47. The Doctor's been through Saudi Prisons, losing his wife and only son, and he is more determined than ever, by all appearaces.

  48. I remember an Israeli psychologist saying that they had studied Zawahiri as much as they could, and the only conclusion they could come to was--he's crazy.

  49. I've studied those Jews that go and stand by that wall and wail, and hit their heads on the bricks, and carry on, and all I can say is, "They're as crazy as that damned Zawahiri!"

    Did I mention that study I did on those Baptists that played around with those Rattlesnakes?

  50. Well, at least they don't wear 'celestial underwear' :)

  51. I just learned young Rattlers are more dangerous:
    Have more Venom.

    Any opinions whether this applies to women, also, or is the opposite true?

  52. Young women and young rattlers. Definitely synonymous. But then that's just my biased experience.

  53. Yuhas enjoys reading those reports. Some find remnants of life and death including pregnancy tests, a sonogram of a fetus, a headstone and various dead animals.

    Dirty diapers, bottles, cans, used condoms and cigarette butts also top the list.

    One volunteer in a rural area of Catawba often writes about beer cans. "I'd love to catch the fellow who throws out all the Busch cans," she wrote in one letter.

    Littered with Surprises

  54. "James Webb is one such volunteer. For the past 10 years, he has picked up litter in the area of Hunting Hills County Club in Roanoke County. He cleans every Monday for eight hours except during the winter."
    Hope he didn't pick up Syphlis from one of them used Condoms.
    Sometimes I wonder.

  55. Can't sleep. My Sign

    How young, Sam?

    I used to farm by the city of Moscow, land had a couple of nice hills where you could see the lights at night. Damned university students, always drinking and f-ing spring, summer and fall. I'd just plow the evidence under.

  56. Scroll down. Here's practically everything Hugh Fitzgerald has written on this subject the last many months.